Council successful in Spaces for People finding bid

East Lothian Council has successfully secured £1.4m of funding to introduce a series of temporary changes to streets to improve health and wellbeing so that everyone is able to move around their local area safely as we transition through and out of the Covid-19.

Environment spokesperson, Cllr Norman Hampshire, said: “Spaces for People is a new initiative funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Sustrans Scotland enabling local authorities to introduce temporary measures to provide more space for people to access businesses in our town centres and to exercise whilst observing current physical distancing health guidelines.”

“The £1.4m funding will enable East Lothian Council to introduce a number of temporary measures to our streets as further easing of lockdown restrictions are applied. Many local shops will be able to re-open for business next week and these temporary changes are focused on protecting public health by providing necessary space for continued observance of physical distancing whilst supporting businesses and their customers.”

A staged approach will be taken over the coming weeks and measures to be introduced will include the temporary widening of some footways, 20mph limits, some segregated space for cycling and opportunities for businesses to use pavement space for customer queuing. Some parking spaces within town centres may be temporarily removed during this period but it’s considered that sufficient capacity will be available for expected use.

Cllr Hampshire added: “Whilst planning these new temporary changes we have taken into account the diverse needs of local communities to ensure as much as possible that those with mobility or sight concerns will be as supported as able-bodied individuals. These measures will create space for everyone whether on foot, bike, wheelchair or using prams and buggies and will support the initial stages of local economic recovery.”

Published: Monday, 29th June 2020